Irfan Fandi is first Singaporean to win Thai League 1 title
Irfan Fandi became the first Singaporean to lift the Thai League 1 (T1) title, following his side BG Pathum United's 2-0 win over Sukhothai at the Leo Stadium, just north of Bangkok, yesterday.
Goals from Sumanya Purisai and Victor Cardozo ensured the Rabbits remain unbeaten as they strolled to their first top-flight championship, with six games to spare in front of 1,814 fans, under the maximum of 2,500 allowed under prevailing Covid-19 guidelines.
Coached by ex-Thailand international defender Dusit Chalermsan, Pathum have garnered an unassailable 19-point cushion over second-placed Buriram.
Key to their triumph has been their defence, which has conceded just 11 goals in 24 matches, while keeping 15 clean sheets.
Centre-back Irfan, 23, has been a mainstay in defence and was ecstatic at his second piece of silverware in as many years, after helping Pathum to last season's Thai League 2 title.
"I was so focused on winning the game, I forgot we won the title," Irfan told The New Paper.
"But the way my teammates, the fans were celebrating, then it hit me that we won the title.
"It really is a great feeling... we have given 110 per cent in a campaign disrupted by Covid-19 and this title is immense."
When asked what it meant for a Singaporean to be crowned a T1 champion, Irfan said: "This opens doors for Singapore players, if I can do it, any one else can do it too. It is a pathway for Singaporean players to look at my example and follow suit."
Irfan added that Pathum will aim to finish the season unbeaten, as they prepare for next month's AFC Champions League campaign.
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now